• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Egypt's Military Buildup in Sinai Violates Its Peace Treaty with Israel

    Egypt is preparing a military offensive against Islamist militants in the Sinai who have launched a series of terrorist attacks against Egyptian border guards in an effort to weaken the central government and provoke a war with Israel.

    This campaign is expected to include armored forces and air strikes in the first major Egyptian military action in the demilitarized Sinai Peninsula since the 1973 Arab–Israeli war.

    Israeli officials voiced alarm at Egypt’s violation of the 1979 Egypt–Israel peace treaty, which bans the deployment of tanks near the border. Israel is rightly concerned that Egypt’s new Muslim Brotherhood–dominated government will use the deteriorating security situation in the Sinai as a means of undermining the peace treaty, which it has long criticized.

    Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi opportunistically used an August 5 terrorist attack in the Sinai that killed 16 Egyptian soldiers as a pretext for removing holdovers from the Mubarak regime from the top of the army’s chain of command. This bold move removed important constraints on Morsi’s power and has cleared the way for his Muslim Brotherhood movement to consolidate its control over Egypt’s state institutions.

    Under the guise of fighting terrorism, Morsi is likely to use the Sinai campaign to boost his political position at home, thumb his nose at Israel, and escalate Egypt’s cooperation with Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood that controls Gaza and remains wedded to a terrorist war of attrition to destroy Israel.

    Morsi is no friend of the United States or the West, let alone Israel. He has already announced that he will visit Iran on August 30 to attend a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement that will boost Iran’s efforts to wriggle out from under international sanctions imposed due to its nuclear weapons program.

    Meanwhile, Iran once again rattled its rockets to underscore its nuclear defiance. Tehran unveiled a new missile and announced plans to build an air defense complex to discourage a preventive strike by Israel or the U.S. against its nuclear infrastructure. Iran’s truculent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned last Friday that there would be no place in the “new Middle East” for Israel, which he denounced as a “cancerous tumor.”

    Given these bellicose Iranian threats and clear evidence of Iran’s nuclear ambitions and ballistic missile buildup, it is little wonder that Israel is mulling a preventive military strike in self-defense. But the Obama Administration remains more assertive about restraining Israel than in confronting Iran.

    See also: Greater U.S. Pressure Needed to Ensure Successful Egyptian Transition

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    One Response to Egypt's Military Buildup in Sinai Violates Its Peace Treaty with Israel

    1. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Your really don't believe Obama's "Arab Spring" , that spawned a takeover of Egypt by the Muslim Brotherhood that, by the way, has sworn to "wipe Israel off the face of the earth", is now prepring to do exactly what they said they would do. Or that Morsi's visit to Iran has nothing to do with the build up in the Sinai? Israel will attacks Iran, the only question is when. Could it be in October, just weeks before the elections. Wow, what an October surprise.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.